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Enterprise strikes out slowpitch

The Lincoln County School Board approved Enterprise AttendanceCenter’s request to discontinue slowpitch softball during Monday’smonthly meeting. In a letter to the board, Enterprise principalShannon Eubanks and softball coach Steve Sasser cited decreasingpopularity in slowpitch and the growing emphasis on fastpitch asthe main reasons for discontinuing slowpitch.

Mississippi is the only state in which slowpitch is sanctionedby the High School Activities Association. Colleges exclusivelyplay fastpitch. Eubanks said the MHSAA had been informed ofEnterprise’s request and no penalty would occur for discontinuingslowpitch.

“In difficult financial times, it would ease the school’sathletic budget,” said the letter. “Our players have commented thatthey dislike the slow pace of slow-pitch in comparison tofast-pitch.”

In another point, the letter explained that “The mechanics forbatters are totally different in slow-pitch, and, as a result, makefor difficulties and bad habits for players transitioning fromfast-pitch.”

In another note, the letter stated, “Summer leagues andtournament teams that our players participate in arefast-pitch.”

Slowpitch remains popular in southwest Mississippi. West Lincoln(1A) and Brookhaven (5A) both advanced to the state championshipfinals. Lawrence County (4A) and Franklin County (3A) and NorthPike (3A) advanced to the state playoffs. Bogue Chitto (1A) alsoenjoys strong interest, along with Wesson (2A), which won theDivision 6 title this past season. Loyd Star (2A) discontinuedslowpitch several years ago and won the fastpitch state title lastMay.

The letter said Enterprise would consider adding another sportfor girls, such as cross-country or volleyball.

Coach Sasser’s Lady Yellow Jackets posted a 16-8 slowpitchrecord and were runners-up to Wesson in the division race thatconcluded in October.